Saigon Shepherd's Pie (Dairy & Gluten Free)

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Shepherd's Pie baked in a cast iron pan. A fork and spoon lay on a dark grey napkin to the left with a small pinch bowl of black pepper seeds on the edge of the napkin. The background is a dark wash grey with tones of navy blue.

Whether you're lactose intolerant, celiac, paleo or just looking to manage the dairy and gluten in your diet, this recipe makes you feel like you're getting a warm hug from your grandparents when you walk in the front door. 

By adding our Saigon Street Sauce to this heart-warming dinner, you can add some flavor that you didn't know you needed in your life. With black pepper and mustard seeds it will harmonize with the beef or lamb to create a full flavor palate that you won't want to skip out on. 

With the addition of our Saigon Street Sauce, we've actually eliminated 3 ingredients from the original recipe because they exist within our sauce and will be incorporated into the flavor. You are able to include the garlic, salt and pepper if you wish, but you can save your time if you choose not to. 

Although Shepherd's Pie was originally made with lamb, it has become more common to bake it with ground beef since it is often more readily available, easier to find and less expensive. With that being said, if you can find lamb to cook with, this recipe would become even more savory. 

We highly recommend that you use a potato with less starch for the topping, this will help create a creamier texture. Russet potatoes are very high in starch so that wouldn't be our first go-to. Yukon Gold or sweet potatoes naturally create a much creamier texture and make it so you don't have to add as much milk (or milk alternatives) to get your desired texture.

Enjoy this during the winter months when you need some comfort food and you can even freeze it for meals later in the week. You don't have to get fancy with it either, momma said that it was ok if you want to just slap those potatoes on top. If you do want to feel like you're bringing this dish to the next level simply run a fork along the top of the potatoes to create pleasing lines or even pipe them on top (that calls for more patience). 



Ground Beef Filling:

3/4 jar Bellisari's Saigon Street Sauce
2 tbsp oil (we recommend avocado, coconut or extra virgin olive oil works great too)
1/2 onion, diced
2 lbs ground beef or lamb
4 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
Optional Ingredients:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Green beans
Creamy Mashed Potato Topping:
4 large sweet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut
1 egg
1/4 cup dairy free milk of choice
2 tbsp dairy free butter (could also substitute coconut oil here)
1 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 350° F. Place potatoes in boiling water and drain once they are tender. While potatoes are boiling, heat your oil in the bottom of a large, deep skillet (we recommend using a 12" skillet) over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add in ground beef and drain once browned. Add in remaining ground beef filling ingredients, except for Saigon Street Sauce, and stir well. Place a lid over top and simmer for 15-20 minutes. For the last 10-15 minutes, add in Saigon Street Sauce mix well. Mixture will thicken. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Place drained potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add in all remaining ingredients for topping. Use a mixer to blend. Once creamy, spread on top of the ground beef filling with a spatula and spread evenly. This is where you can jazz it up if you'd like with the fork lines or piping them on top.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, potatoes should be golden brown and mixture slightly bubbling. Let sit for 5 minutes and garnish with rosemary twig or fresh parsley.



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